Hoobastank, Bochum colliery, 29.01.2019

“Is there still one?” We were exposed to this question many times when we mentioned that on 29.01 .2019 would attend the concert of Hoobastank in the mine in Bochum. The 1994 (!) Founded alternative rock band from California published so far at least five albums, most recently “push pull” last year. In Germany, most music fans but probably only know their overpower “The Reason” not only to this day permanently on the radio, but also a popular karaoke song of the party game “ Singstar ” on the PlayStation 2 was. Since their associated album celebrated its 15th anniversary in 2018, Hoobastank decided on a “The Reason 15th Year Anniversary Tour” with which they finally made a stop in Germany after almost 15 years! We thought that an album show for the classic “The Reason” was reason enough for all concert fans to watch the American band live, but when we stepped into the Bochum colliery half an hour after their admission, just a handful of fans had appeared. What was going on there?

Before we get to the bottom of it, however, we first have to give a big compliment to Supportact Tidalwave . Despite the small number of people managed the solo artist with his band and sympathetic announcements to encourage the audience to clap and even jumping. Singer Dean Schweitzer did not seem embarrassed – on the contrary, it was obvious that he had great fun with his performance. The Englishman, who now lives in Berlin after some time in America, smashed loud and rocking alternative songs and enthusiastically supported the Three Days Grace band shirt of a fan in the front row.

Luckily, the pit had filled up a little bit until finally came onto the scene, but the crowd was still limited. For the atmospheric intro, Doug Robb (vocals), Daniel Estrin (guitar), Chris Hesse (drums) and Jesse Charland (bass) took to the stage and opened the set with “Pieces” from their debut album released in 2001. Then it went on chronologically with the songs of “The Reason” on. The songs of the album were getting more and less popularity. Some fans were consistently text-conscious, while most visitors bobbed their heads cautiously or preferred to limit themselves to snapping cell phone photos. When finally “The Reason” was played in the middle of the set, they all sang together in the best Singstar manner. An epic moment for many music fans that will be remembered for a long time!

After the remaining four tracks of the anniversary album, Hoobastank presented some more songs, such as the current “Do not Look Away” and the “Do not Look Away” Classic “Running Away”. A bit of time still remains and so the American band played quite spontaneously at the request of some fans even their song “The First of Me”, which was last played in the autumn on the Japantour and was actually not in the European set. Singer Doug Robb obviously had fun with this spontaneous action and seemed otherwise sympathetic and lively. Overall, however, it should be noted that Hoobastank seemed quite dusty and rusty. The sound sounded lifeless, dull and monotone; almost as if you had pushed the CD of 15 years ago in an old, rusty CD player. The three band members did not really sound like a great live band either, but as if they’d been unexpectedly dragged out of their house for the tour and not given enough time to rehearse. For example, guitarist Dan Estrin spent most of the concert straining his fingers, as if he did not know exactly what he was doing on the guitar.

Of course, this negative impression will also have been due to the missing crowd because somehow the whole evening did not get the right mood. Since Hoobastank just did not celebrate a proper chart hit beyond “The Reason”, they simply do not have the fanbase in Germany to fill a location like the Bochum colliery. Added to this was the ticket price of over 40 €, at which many interested simply shook their heads in disbelief.

Hoobastank promised to return to Germany soon. We hope that they will look for a more intimate location and possibly lower their ticket prices. And rehearsals would be nice.

That’s what it sounds like:

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